(photo credit: screenshot)
It’s the first official day of summer, and though that may mean no school, beaches and barbecues for many, for others it is a time of mourning after two people drowned within the span of an hour Monday and a third person was left in serious condition after nearly drowning.
According Magen David Adom’s Nadav Matzner, a woman around 70 years old drowned at approximately 7:00 a.m. at Haifa’s Bat Galim beach. She was unconscious by the time lifeguards brought her ashore and attempted to resuscitate her. Despite performing CPR, she died on the beach.
Just 40 minutes later, at Argaman Beach in Acre, MDA received a call that a 73-year-old man was found next to the sea. He also was pronounced dead following a number of resuscitation attempts with CPR failed.
About two hours later, an 84-year-old man was left in serious condition and had to be airlifted to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem after almost drowning in the Dead Sea.
Matzner said 18 people have drowned since May 9. Over that period, he said MDA had responded to numerous near-drownings, five of which left people in serious condition, six in satisfactory condition and 73 in good condition.
A number of the incidents from the past month, Matzner told The Jerusalem Post, took place late at night or very early in the morning, when lifeguards are not present and he implored people to never swim in the sea or a pool if they are under the influence of alcohol; if there is a black flag on the beach indicating that it is dangerous to enter the water; or if a lifeguard is not present.
If a person finds him or herself in a situation without a lifeguard present, he or she should not attempt to rescue the drowning person.
“Unless you know how to swim and can carry someone out of the water and are not too weak [to do so], don’t try to go in and help,” he said. “Otherwise, there will be two drownings.”
Rather, MDA should be called immediately by dialing 101 to request an ambulance and receive lifesaving medical instructions until a paramedic crew arrives.